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EU launches defense fund amid US pressure to boost spending

EU LAUNCHES DEFENSE FUND AMID US PRESSURE TO BOOST SPENDING

A new defense fund to get better value for money on projects such as drones or robotics is being launched by EU.

The European Union is launching a new defense fund to get better value for money on projects such as drones or robotics as European allies at NATO come under U.S. pressure to boost their military budgets.

The fund unveiled by the European Commission Wednesday would see the EU provide a total of 500 million euros ($563 million) in 2019 and 2020 to help buy and develop military equipment.

This would double to 1 billion euros annually from 2020. The Commission says it expects the money to generate about five times that amount for developing defense capabilities, once member countries make their contributions.

The EU is also offering grants for research into defense technologies. EU countries spend around seven times less on defense research and development than the United States.

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